Hotels Taiwan Travel

Where To Stay In Taipei [Happy Taipei Hostel Review]

My friends were busy giving me advice on our group chat because they are more bothered with my singlehood than I am.

One of them told me to approach the guys and say,

“Where are you guys headed tonight?”

She swears it’s effective because she uses that line herself. Hmm… Yeah I don’t think so. 

The other one advised me to do a more blatant approach,

“Walk around, pretend you’re going to the bathroom then sit right in the middle of them.”

Hmm okay, hell no! 

I was the only girl in the mixed-dorm in the hostel where I was staying in Taipei; and I didn’t know what to feel about it. I heard my room mates, white men of different nations, speaking in their own language. I heard Dutch, German, English, and I remained in the confines of my bed on the upper bunk pretending I wasn’t there. 1) Was I able to talk to anyone in that dorm? 2) Did I find anyone cute? 3) Would I recommend this hostel to you my dear readers? Please read on to find out.


Taiwan Travel

Visiting The Land Of Meteor Garden

My hands were cold and clammy and I’m not sure if it’s due to the air-conditioning of the plane or my flying anxiety. I was on a plane, on my way to Taipei. There was an Air Asia seat-sale last year and I took the opportunity to book a trip. Frankly, I had no idea what I would see in Taiwan before I hit that button, I just went with my gut feel. You know that feeling, when a place seems to beckon you and you decide to answer it. And I answer it I did.



Learn Scuba Diving In The City

This must be how asthmatic people feel like.”

No you idiot, asthmatic people can’t breathe normally.”

“But I can’t breathe normally.”

Of course you can you dimwit, that’s what the regulator is for.

Nah, I quit, I don’t want to do this. I am not a fish.”

Who says anything about becoming a fish? This is scuba diving, what did you expect? Now stop being melodramatic and get your as* back there.”


No buts, we don’t have all day. Don’t leave this swimming pool without knowing how to do this.”


Discover This Urban Oasis In The Heart Of Pasay City [Selah Garden Hotel Review]

Location is one of the significant factors people consider when visiting a place. As much as possible, we want it to be convenient and easy to find because a few may not mind the egg hunt, but many would find it troublesome. However, there are some things in life that are worth the trouble like this boutique hotel in the heart of Pasay city called, The Selah Garden Hotel. Outside the hotel, the surrounding isn’t all too pleasing but inside there is an urban oasis. And those who will be able to find it is in for a wonderful surprise.

Formerly known as Selah Garden Suites, the hotel was established in 2014 and will soon have its official launch on the 31st of January. Selah is a Hebrew word, mentioned many times in the bible. Although the meaning of the word is not known, there are various interpretations of its definition such as stop and listen, pause, and think of that, or a break in a song.

I have basically seen it from the ground up as I happen to be good friends with its Marketing Manager, Magdalena “Che” Tolosa. I would pay her a visit, stay in her room, hang out, and watch the construction workers bent at work in building this garden-themed boutique hotel. It’s one of the reasons Selah Garden is special to me because I saw it when it was all just rough fragments of wood, stone, brick, and concrete.

I submitted a proposal to my friend to allow me and my blogger friends to stay in their hotel in exchange for blog review; thankfully, she agreed. And so 5 bloggers; Aldrick (Turista Boy), Jonathan (Jon to the World), Jerny (The Jerny Travel and Inspirations), Cathy (Escapes and Diaries), and Mary Jane (Travel, History, and Culture) joined me in an overnight stay at Selah last weekend.   


We were divided into 3 groups and billeted in three separate Flagship Room (triple). This room can accommodate 2 to 3 pax and goes for PHP 3,650  (USD 72.96) per night.  

They toured us around the hotel to show us the rooms that they offer. Check the table below to see the list of their rooms:

Room typeRatesRoom Capacity
Flagship Room (double)PHP 3,200 – USD 63.972 pax
Flagship Room (triple)PHP 3,650 – USD 72.962-3 pax
Cozy RoomPHP 3,650 – USD 72.962-3 pax
Fantastic LoftPHP 5,100 – USD 101.954-5 pax
Fabulous SuitePHP 5,900 – USD 117.945 pax
Fantabulous LoftPHP 6,700 – USD 133.937 pax
Stellar SuitePHP 13,000 – USD 259.8710 pax
Clique RoomPHP 750/pax (USD 14.99)10 pax
Bunk RoomPHP 750/pax (USD 14.99)10 pax
selah-garden-hotel-coffeehan (13)
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Selah Garden offers excellent amenities, such as its in-house restaurant called Tabla, an infinity pool, a gazebo which guests can reserve for special dining occasions, function rooms to hold events, as well as a spa called, Spa by Selah.

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But if there is one unique feature that sets Selah Garden apart, it’s their tree-top adventure facilities that are quite ideal for team-building activities. And this we were able to try.

We started with wall climbing. After we geared up, we went one by one, myself being the first person in our group to give it a go. I was pretty confident that I’d be able to do it and ended up being the only person who sucked at it. I didn’t get myself up there really, I tried and struggled, my arms hurt and strained but didn’t have the strength to hoist myself up. I remember doing a little bit of rock climbing on Matukad island in Caramoan sans any equipment. I was able to do it then, why the hell was I not able to do it now and to think this time I had a harness. It was oh so frustrating. I’m not sure how long did I lie to myself that I could do it before I decided to give up. Jerny, Aldrick, and Cathy on the other hand did it with ease. Never in my life have I felt so weak until that moment.

The next activity was a zipline, which by the way is my most favorite just because it was awesome to feel like I was flying up in the air.

After this, we had to cross over the net and wires that were suspended several feet off the ground. It was nerve-wracking especially for people like me with fear of heights, nevertheless, it was a lot of fun.

I wasn’t able to finish the course though because I couldn’t cross one wire as it wobbled under my feet. The activity ended on a free fall, which I skipped because I imagined it would be like a tree-drop activity but nope, I watched my friends being dropped from the top of the climbing wall at a speed better suited for rappelling.

I’d like to do the adventures all over again next time just to finish the entire challenge.

That’s not all, another activity that Selah offers is the discovery diving course care of Dive Raid. There is a 10-ft section in the swimming pool just for this activity. But let me hold off to that story for now because I truly believe the experience was so awesome, it deserves a standalone article.

Why choose Selah Garden Hotel?

Aside from the fact that they offer a reasonable rate for their rooms and adventures that guests can surely enjoy,  Selah Garden Hotel is accessible to major roads, such as Edsa, Roxas Boulevard, and Macapagal Ave. It is also in close proximity to the SM Mall of Asia and big casino hotels and is only 10 minutes away from Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Also, all rates are inclusive of complimentary breakfast.

Most of all, the staff of Selah are very nice and helpful. They always greet their guests with a smile and when you ask something from the front desk, they’d be in your door in no time.

Points of Improvements

Though it is one of the best hotels that I’d been so far, there are still some areas that Selah Garden Hotel can improve on and they are as follows:

  • Additional card key: They only give one card key per room. In most hotels that I’d been, at least 2 card keys are given. I hope that the management would consider adding another one especially if there is more than 1 person occupying the room.
  • In-house massage therapists: Currently, Spa by Selah doesn’t have in-house massage therapists. The good news is, there are already plans to hire their own therapists.
  • Leaking pipes: In our room, the bidet is leaking, but this is more an issue of maintenance and I think this can be easily addressed.
  • Menu: I also hope they will add more food to their menu. Che said that they just hired a new chef so I think this will be taken care of soon.

This hotel stay is sponsored by Selah Garden Hotel, review and opinion are my own. A few photos were taken by Aldrick Agpaoa. 

Selah Garden Hotel
2715 Park Ave. San Rafael,
Pasay City
Telephone nos: +632 511-1331/+639 508-9141
Email: selahgardensuites@gmail.com

Book Selah Garden Hotel here


Travel Bug

Travel Bug Series 18 – Lou Ongpin

I like being surprised by people. Like when you meet someone who looks every bit like a person born into a rich family and you get an impression, “Nah, this person won’t do in a rugged setting,” and then she proves you wrong. That’s exactly what happened when I met Lou and she joined my friends and I when we went to Banahaw Tugtugan music festival last year. This towering lovely woman with white alabaster skin winged it like the rest of the group. And today she is our Travel Bug star, meet Lou Ongpin, the blogger behind the lifestyle blog, Going SoLou.



Don Bao – The First Bao Resto You Should Try Soon

The last time I was in Kapitolyo, I was trying to eat and say how the food tasted like. It wasn’t for the lack of manners, I know we’re not supposed to speak as we eat. I’m referring to my guesting stint as a reviewer for the TV show, Pop Talk. Anyway, I don’t frequent Pasig; I don’t have many friends in the area and personally, I find it hard getting to that city. Then my friend, Jerro (GourManila) invited me and another friend of us, Arrianne (Travel Habeat) to a late lunch in a Japanese restaurant that may have changed my mind about traveling to Pasig. The place is called Don Bao where you can find the best tasting donburis and baos.



2017: The Year We Should Stop Asking For Easy

I don’t want to feel uncomfortable, but that’s what is happening in my professional life right now, and it’s triggering a fight-and-flight response from me. After weeks of becoming too stressed, I’ve already begun hatching my flight plan (literally and figuratively). Without going down into the nitty-gritty, weeks before the holidays, my emotions have been spiraling out of control (think Carrie Mathison when she’s off her meds). It reached the point when I started questioning my knowledge, capabilities, and strength of character. 

The knee-jerk reaction is to leave and find other possibilities. I would leave every meeting feeling like a boulder was sitting on my chest. I would go home tired and spent. I began to look forward to the end of the day and dreaded the start of it. The ill feelings have returned, the first sign of which is poetry. I do not write poetry when I am happy; I do it when I’m in the middle of despair. And despair is what I had been feeling from thinking that I couldn’t seem to do anything right. If people feel disappointed in me, I already beat them to it. Lately, I have been anything but happy with myself. 

I confided to a friend, and he said that there will always be challenges wherever I go; it’s how I deal with the challenges that would make a difference. Of course, I don’t have to be a genius to see the wisdom in that statement, but my heart was rebelling, and I couldn’t accept that things had to be difficult. I was ready to give up, contemplating my escape plan, and even consulted some friends about it, then I saw this video.

You know that feeling when you’ve been talking for hours with some people, then you suddenly catch your reflection in the mirror and find to your horror that you have something in your teeth? That’s how it felt when I saw this video. I felt a deep sense of shame about complaining and wanting to get out because things were difficult. I am ashamed because I want to be successful, yet all I could think of was fleeing at the first sign of hardship.

“Everybody wants the prize, but nobody wants to pay the price.” — besomebody.com

Call it fate, the law of attraction, or a message from God; the point is, I got the memo. In under 2 minutes, I realized that I was a cowardly, whiny, egotistical bish. My work is being criticized repeatedly, and what did I feel? Like a loser who couldn’t do anything right, that’s what. I took the criticism as an insult instead of a reason to improve my work. 

I take great pride in what I do, yet I have forgotten why I was proud of it in the first place, which is not everyone, not even all writers, can do what I do. And the reason not everyone can do what I do is that IT IS NOT EASY!

“You should want it to be hard because then no one can replicate what you create.” — besomebody.com

I believe that God or the universe steers us on the right path when we start to lose sight of our goal. I think this video is for me, some divine intervention to tell me that I should quit whining and stop asking for easy. Likewise, it reminded me that when I’m uncomfortable, I’m able to do great things. Every friendship bracelet that I created resulted from hours of sitting and crouching and terrible back pain. Every story I wrote when I was still in school was the aftermath of skipping meals and pain in my upper extremities from using an old typewriter. Every event or trip that I’ve organized resulted from careful planning and patience in coordinating with the people involved. Every mountain that I conquered was an eventuality of an endless walk, shortened breath, leg strain, and a gallon of sweat. My successes, big or small, didn’t come out of thin air; they were all a result of some pain and hard work.

Benjamin Hardy says in his Medium article,

“Most people aren’t willing to feel difficult emotions on a regular basis. However, if you’re willing to disregard how you feel in the moment, you’ll have access to a world of opportunity unavailable to 99% of the population.”

And I am not sure if you are in the same boat, but if you are, I hope that 2017 is the year we do great things. To do that, let’s choose to set aside our personal feelings to get the job done. Let us double our effort. Let us lower our egos so we can learn. Let us find inspiration when we become disheartened. Let us get our hands dirty and finish what we’ve started. Let us take a breather when we become tired, but we shall never give up.

This is the year we are going to stop living with limits. 2017 is the year we stop asking for easy.